CSPAN Coverage Tonight at 10:30 pm ET

Jackie Salit, President of IndependentVoting.org, former Congressman Mickey Edwards and I at Friday’s Politics for the People.  (Photo: Beth Brown)

This just in from CSPAN:

CSPAN will be airing Politics for the People tonight at 10:30 pm ET.  The program will reair at 11:30 pm PST, that’s 2:30 am ET.

I hope you will tune in, and then send me your comments.

CSPAN broadcast of Politics for the People Tomorrow

Last Friday evening, former Congressman Mickey Edwards and IndependentVoting.org President Jackie Salit were my guests at Politics for the People at the Newman Conference Center at Baruch College.  Our topic: The People vs. The Parties.  Both Jackie and Mickey have books coming out the summer.

We had a rich and fascinating discussion with our audience.  We talked about the negative role of the political parties in US, the cultural component of change, the competing powers of our government and the role of the President, the massive political disalignment of the American people from the political parties and more in this wide ranging conversation.

CSPAN is planning to broadcast  Friday’s Politics for the People on Thursday, May 3rd between 8-10 pm.  As soon as I know the exact broadcast time, I will get a post up right away.  I hope you will set your DVR or plan to tune in and watch.

National Poetry Month Giveaway

Photo: CLStewart

April is National Poetry Month.  And to celebrate,  (courtesy of the Poetry Foundation) I have free copies of the April 2012 edition of Poetry.  It is yours for the posting—just leave me a comment about why you love poetry, or better yet post a favorite poem or share a poem you wrote!  And I will send you out a copy.

Let me leave you with a little emily dickinson on a warm spring day:

A little madness in the Spring

Is wholesome even for the King,

But God be with the Clown,

Who ponders this tremendous scene—

This whole experiment of green,

As if it were his own!

Politics for the People—LIVE in NYC on April 27th

I am pleased to let you know,  Jackie Salit and former Congressman Mickey Edwards will be my guests at the next Politics for the Peoplewhich is being held on Friday, April 27th at Baruch College in Manhattan.

Jackie Salit is president of IndependentVoting.org, the country’s leading strategy and organizing center for independents. She ran all three of Michael Bloomberg’s campaigns on the Independence Party line, and is the author of the forthcoming book Independents Rising which explores how independents are not only deciding elections, but reshaping the political landscape.

Mickey Edwards is the Director of the Aspen Institute Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership and was a  member of Congress from Oklahoma from 1977 to 1992.  He has written critically about the partisanship embedded in both our electoral system and in Congress itself, issues he explores in his upcoming book The Parties vs. the People.

I am looking forward to this event.  Jackie and Mickey are two of America’s leading advocates for structural political reform.  Their passion for change, their belief in the American people, and their unique histories will make for a fascinating discussion.

If you live in the tri-state area, I hope you will come and join in our conversation.  RSVP today by clicking here, and I’ll see you on the 27th.  If you can’t make it, I have good news—CSPAN is shooting the event and planning to air it, so stay tuned.

Punching a Hole in the Big Boys’ Political Science Paradigm

Punching a Hole in the Big Boys’ Political Science Paradigm

Linda Killian’s book, The Swing Vote  is stirring up the national conversation about independent voters.  Last week, Ruy Teixeira, a DP operative and the author of  The Emerging Democratic Majority (2002) wrote a scathing and self serving review of the book in which he asserts that Linda’s book is based on “the greatest myth in American politics: that independents are actually independent. They are not,” says Teixeira.

James Taranto, writing in the Wall Street Journal, takes apart some of Teixeira’s assertions about who indies are and are not, and his slippery use of polling data.

Linda responded in a Daily Beast piece: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics: How Ruy Teixeira Got it Wrong on ‘Swing Vote’.  Referring to Teixeira’s charge that indies are a myth, Killian has this to say: “Such a charge is larger than just one book and goes to the heart of what is wrong with our political system and with the party and the media elite who control it.  They don’t believe there is room for the voters….”

On Friday, Jackie Salit, the President of IndependentVoting.org also responded with a piece on the Huffington Post: “Ruy the Day!

Salit comments, “Teixeira argues that voters are defined by who they vote for….  Leaving aside the obvious point that in nearly every election, the only choice voters have is a ballot, or ballots, for one or another major party candidate, but they still feel it is important to maintain their independence.” 

It is an excellent piece—definitely worth a read.  And I couldn’t agree more with Salit’s ending: “The problem with political science, which Teixeira worships, is that it isn’t a science and it’s extremely political.  Killian’s book may have its flaws.  But she did punch a hole in the Big Boys’ prevailing political science paradigm, the one that is strangling the country.  You go, girl!  That’s worth a read right there.”

Hope you will all get involved in the conversation.  Post a comment here, or go to any of the pieces above and add your thoughts!!!

PS  If you missed our discussion with Linda Killian on February 26th, you can listen by calling (218) 844-0952, password 732282#.  To fast forward into the conversation, you can press 2 once you have logged in.

Sunday Conference Call with Author Linda Killian

Linda Killian (l) and Cathy Stewart (r)

On Sunday, February 26th at 7 pm, Linda Killian —the author of Swing Vote: The Untapped Power of Independents— will be joining us on the first Politics for the People Book Club conference call.

I will kick off our discussion with a short interview with Linda and then we will open up for your questions.

The call in number for the call is 218 844-0860 and the passcode is 732282#.

I am looking forward to our discussion on Sunday.

Here are some questions to think about as you read this week:

1) How does Linda describe the terrain of the independent movement and what forces are organizing independents?

2) How does Linda see independents?

3) What does Linda identify as the problems in our democracy?

4) What is her prescription for change?  What role does she think independents can and must play?

Politics for the People Takes to the Airwaves

Tomorrow afternoon, Thursday, I will be interviewed on the national radio show, Fairness Radio with Chuck and Patrick at 2:15pm ET.  Co-hosts Chuck Morse and Patrick O’Heffernan will be talking with me about our new Independent book club and trends in writing about, for and by independents.  In addition, tune in at 1:15 pm ET, when Chuck and Patrick will be talking with IndependentVoting.org President, Jackie Salit.  Jackie is a monthly guest on Fairness radio and has a book that will be out in early August, Independents Rising.  A book I can’t wait for us to read here at Politics for the People.

You can tune in online at http://www.cyberstationlive.com – click on “Listen Live”.  You can call in at 617-328-8700.  You can also email questions live to be read on the air, or  post a comment on the program’s  Facebook Page or Twitter feed.

Give a listen

50  people have signed up for the book club–welcome.

I am looking forward to our first conference call on February 26th at 7 pm.  Linda Killian will be joining us to discuss The Swing Vote.  I know you will enjoy hearing from and speaking directly to Linda.

I hope that you are enjoying Linda’s book as much as I have.  If you have not had a chance to pick up a copy yet, you can read an excerpt of the book at The Atlantic.

Two weeks ago,  Linda was my guest in Brooklyn for our winter Politics for the People. We had a very lively and thoughtful discussion.  I think you will find it interesting–give a listen to a section of our conversation: Killian P4P – 1.  And if you have not yet watched Linda’s appearance on CSPAN, hop over to her website and take a look.

Next week, I will be posting some questions to be thinking about as you read.

Welcome to the Politics for the People Book Club

For our first book, we’ll be reading The Swing Vote, The Untapped Power of Independents, written by journalist Linda Killian who I recently had the pleasure of interviewing at a Politics for the People  in Brooklyn, NY.  Here’s an audio clip of our conversation (Killian P4P – 1).
Linda spent 2 years researching us — independent voters — and has written a thought provoking book.  She interviewed many independents in the IndependentVoting.org network including: President, Jackie Salit (whose own book “Independent Rising” is due out in July), Counsel Harry Kresky, Julia Pfaff from the Virginia Independent Voters Association, Joelle Riddle and Kathleen Curry of Colorado and more.
Here is how the book club works:
  • Get your copy of the book.  (Amazon / Barnes and Nobel)
  • Start reading.
  • I post reviews, audio clips, interviews and lots of thought-provoking questions over the next several weeks.
  • Then, on Sunday, February 26th  at 7 pm, call in for our national discussion of the book.
If you have thoughts as you are reading, please leave a comment on the blog.
And, if you want to suggest a book to be a Politics for the People selection, also leave a comment.

Book Club Selection

From Macmillian

As our country’s politicians engage in bitter partisan battles, focused on protecting their own jobs but not on doing the nation’s business, and political pundits shout louder and shriller to improve their ratings, it’s no wonder that Americans have little faith in their government. But is America as divided as the politicians and talking heads would have us  believe? Do half of Americans stand on the right and the other half on the left with a no-man’s-land between them?

Hardly. Forty percent of all American voters are Independents who occupy the ample political and ideological space in the center. These Americans are anything but divided, and they’re being ignored. These Independents make up the largest voting bloc in the nation and have determined the outcome of every election since World War II. Every year their numbers grow, as does the unconscionable disconnect between them and the officials who are supposed to represent them.

The Swing Vote: The Untapped Power of Independents tells the story of how our polarized political system is not only misrepresenting America but failing it. Linda Killian looks beyond the polls and the headlines and talks with the frustrated citizens who are raising the alarm about the acute bi-polarity, special interest-influence, and gridlock in Congress, asking why Obama’s postpartisan presidency is anything but, and demanding realism, honest negotiation, and a sense of responsibility from their elected officials.

Killian paints a vivid portrait of the swing voters around the country and presents a new model that reveals who they are and what they want from their government and elected officials. She also offers a way forward, including solutions for fixing our broken political system. This is not only a timely shot across the bows of both parties but an impassioned call to Independents to bring America back into balance.

Amazon:  $16.97 / Kindle $12.99       * * *      Barnes and Noble: $16.97 / Nook $12.99

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